How to fix invalid destination addresses

How to fix invalid destination addresses


Written by David Renwick

Whether someone’s excitedly entering their details, or relying on their browser to autofill their address, there’s always a chance they make a mistake. That’s great that you’ve still made a sale, but these makes can be sneaky as they don’t reveal themselves until someone spots it later on or - in the worst case - the package goes missing.

We’re going to show you a proactive solution for how to fix an invalid destination address well before a product gets into the hands of a courier. Let’s see what causes this common mistake and how you can stay on top of it.

Man packing parcel in a small warehouse

Why do I get invalid destination addresses?

The most common reason for an invalid destination address is simple human error. Maybe your customer lives on a street with a long and complex name, or maybe they’ve recently moved and can’t remember if they live on a street, lane or road.

Either way, when a customer makes an error it can lead to an invalid destination address that’s tough to fix, especially for new customers you haven’t shipped to before so you can’t cross reference old orders.

Address autocomplete systems can also sometimes play an issue. Lots of browsers these days offer autofill features for your personal details, but if they’re saved in the wrong format or saved incorrectly it can also cause issues.

Invalid shipping addresses: They’re a problem!

One of the most frustrating problems with an invalid address is how long it can take to identify that something is wrong. If the issue isn’t solved at the checkout, a customer might not know there’s been a mistake until their order fails to arrive. Naturally, this is going to lead to unhappy customers.

According to Firstlogic, failing to deliver a package to a customer can cost your business in a few different ways:

  • 🕒 The time spent saving a customer – Managing an unhappy customer by replacing stock or fixing their order takes time from your employees.
  • Cancelled orders – If the customer doesn’t want to reorder or have the problem fixed, you could lose revenue.
  • 😔 Losing a customer – Shoppers who have a negative experience may not give your business a second chance.
  • 🤬 Bad reviews or social media posts – Google reviews and other social media feedback can affect the likelihood of new customers ordering from your business.

Outside of the costs to your customer relationships, invalid shipping addresses and failed orders have other costs such as:

  • 🚚 Shipping – If the package makes it all the way to the courier and they can’t deliver it, you may be charged when it’s returned to you.
  • 📦 Stock – If the product you’re shipping is perishable, is damaged or goes missing then that’s more lost revenue.
  • 👷 Labor – Fixing the mistake and liaising with couriers all takes time away from other jobs you and your employees could be doing.

While you could manually correct addresses as they come in, this is a time consuming process that can impact your ability to ship orders efficiently. Plus, this option isn’t foolproof either as it’s subject to the same chance of human error. If only there was a better way…

Reduce human error and simplify support through address validation

How to: Always get the right customer address

Starshipit comes with a free address verification tool to help you detect problem addresses early. These are indicated in the new orders screen by a red cross next to the entry that needs attention. Check out our video guide to see how you can automatically correct invalid addresses.

With this feature, you have a few options for making these changes and ensuring orders are going to the right place.

With UI 2.0 in Starshipit, these include:

  • Bulk Auto-correct address – Click “check addresses” on the orders screen to see all invalid orders. Select all that need correcting, click update, and you’re done!
  • Auto correct individual addresses – By clicking on the edit icon next to an order with an invalid address, you’ll be taken to a screen that shows the invalid address on the left, and the automatic suggested address on the right. Click “apply suggestions” to manually make the update.
  • Manually edit an invalid address – Click on the order number, then the pencil icon to manually edit an address that has been marked as invalid. You can then hit “check address” to validate and ensure your update has fixed the issue.

The main benefit here is having correct addresses every time you ship orders, which saves you time and money and results in satisfied customers. Oh and did we mention it works the same way even if you use multiple couriers?

Wrap up

So now you know how to fix an invalid destination address, and why staying on top of these errors can really affect how smoothly your business operates. The more time you spend fixing small mistakes, the less time you have to work on more rewarding parts of your business.

Partnering with a shipping fulfillment platform like Starshipit can help you in a number of ways, from fixing invalid shipping addresses to simplifying the management of multiple carriers.

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David Renwick

David Renwick

David is Starshipit's Product Marketing Lead. When he's not whipping up a fresh new product update or chatting to customers for an exciting case study, you'll typically find him scoping out coffee spots and talking about what's on at the movies. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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